After finalising the land pooling policy, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is set to try and again breathe life into its ambitious Transit Oriented Development (TOD) scheme, which has been hanging since July 2015
The National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA), which was asked last year to review the TOD policy, has already submitted its recommendations to the land-owning agency. Setting up a nodal agency to monitor the implementation of TOD; allowing TOD implementation only on high footfall nodes (Metro stations) and defining the type of development along nodes are some of the changes recommended by the NIUA.
A senior DDA official said, “We will hold discussions with NIUA on the proposed changes in the policy soon.”
The TOD policy, which is aimed at sustainable development around rapid transit facilities such as Metro, was notified in July 2015. It couldn’t be implemented due to objections from the public against DDA regulations issued in 2016. In March 2017, the Union housing and urban affairs ministry had directed DDA to review the policy.
The land-owning agency had initially approved two TOD projects at Karkardooma (spread over 30 hectares) and near Sanjay Lake (spread over 10.26 hectares) in 2014 and 2015 respectively. It had tasked the National Buildings Construction Company (NBCC) for the implementation of two projects. Work couldn’t start as the policy was never finalised.
In its report, NIUA has recommended some major changes in the policy. Jagan Shah, NIUA director, said TOD should be implemented along nodes (Metro stations) which have a high footfall. Under the existing policy, TOD development can happen around any Metro station irrespective of footfall. “We have recommended that TOD should be allowed around nodes where footfall is high. Based on an economics rationale, for the initial rollout, we have defined a threshold for a node to be considered for TOD,” said Shah.
DDA officials said it is not binding on the land-owning agency to incorporate all the NIUA recommendations.
A DDA official aware of the development said there are major concerns regarding the implementation of the policy and its impact on traffic and civic amenities. The policy proposes higher FAR within 500 metres of the transit facility. “We have to assess the effect of higher FAR on the neighbouring areas and existing civic amenities; traffic generated at the new development and its movement. There is a need to do an assessment of the impact,” said the official.